Malibu Hotdogs

AKA “DaBu Dogs!”

If you know me, you know I am not a foodie.  My very good friends are, however, which makes meal time fun.  My foodie friend, Barb, is the co-creator of a great website called heygoodcookin.com.  I am their photographer and I can assure you that all items photographed are real and always eaten after the photo shoot.  Not only is Barb a foodie, she is also very frugal.  Waste not want not.  She also always makes sure I am taken care of at meal times.  Which is why this photo shoot cracks me up.  If you look closely at the bottom right hand corner of the picture you will see a plain hotdog under there.  That one was for me.  She didn’t think it would show up.  Hah!  A little yellow mustard is all I need on a hotdog!  If you want the recipe for the fancy DaBu dog, please check out their site…www.heygoodcookin.com.  Might just be a hit at your 4th of July party!

Malibu HOtdog

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Hamburger Month

Who knew there was such a thing as burger month?  You would think that I, of all people, would know this.  I eat a hamburger at least 3 or 4 times a week.  Mayo and pickles only please.  I photographed a fancy hamburger for my friends’ website www.heygoodcookin.com.  It’s a great new site where you can cook and make friends and learn how to cook smaller portions.  They are redefining what it means to be single.  So…if you want to learn how to make a fancy hamburger in honor of “Hamburger Month”, or for Memorial Day, check out the blog on their website.  Either way… Happy Memorial Day and Happy Hamburger Month to you all…

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Beverage Photography

l have been enjoying the challenge of food photography.  Using natural light is great when you have it.  It’s very very shady here, so I’ve purchased and learned how to use artificial lights to avoid the harsh shadows and to highlight the pretty colors, etc.

Then I started trying to photograph beverages.  Woah, what a different challenge.  The artificial lights leave harsh reflections on the glass that are way to big to fix in post production (photoshop…is my best friend).  I spent some time with a professional photographer who explained that I needed to use flash for beverages.  Ugg…I have been very resistant to learning remote flash.  It just sounded too technical.  Turns out it’s actually quite fun.  It’s not easy and I have tons to learn with it.  I’ve only tried it twice, but am looking forward to more.  I think if I can get really good at it, I may have a niche!  We will see.

Here is my second attempts at Sangria and red wine…

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red-wine-002

And just for fun…playing with photoshop…

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Meatball Biscuit Footballs

meatball biscuit footballs 0011 can Pillsbury Grand biscuits

1 bag fully cooked frozen meatballs

2 slices Velveeta sliced cheese

3 Tbs melted butter

meatball biscuit footballs 004Heat the oven to 375 degrees

Separate the biscuits.    Break each biscuit into a half and press it flat to at least 3 inches. (depending on size of meatball)

Slightly thaw the meatballs so you can cut them in half.  (just enough to cut them)

Cut the Velveeta cheese into squares (maybe 1/2″ x 1″)

meatball biscuit footballs 005Wrap the half a meatball and square of Velveeta in the biscuit.  Make sure it is securely sealed.  Mold into the shape of a football.    Repeat as many times as you have supplies.

Place them in a cake pan on non-stick foil.

Paint the melted butter on top of each football biscuit

Slice more Velveeta into tiny strips approximately 1/8″ x 1/2″ inch.  Place three or four slices on top of the football biscuits to mimic the laces.

meatball biscuit footballs 007Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 22 minutes or until lightly golden on top.

Serve warm with whatever dipping sauce or sauces you prefer.  I like dipping them in brown gravy.  You can also use ketchup, mustard, etc.

Super bowl yum here we come!

Loli’s No-Bake Jamaican Fruit Cake Balls

 

Every once in a while I get the bug to bake.  Usually around the Holidays.  I think it’s the weather.  We don’t get a lot of rainy days here, so when one comes along…I like to take advantage and get creative in the kitchen.

But, here’s the thing…people tend to not want to eat what I bake.  I can’t blame it on the recipe, so it must be me.  With the exception of my family chocolate chip cookies recipe, most of what I bake goes uneaten.

This year I decided to protect my ego by making something that nobody usually wants to eat anyway…  Fruit Cake.  It’s an age old joke and almost no one makes it anymore.  So I found a recipe that doesn’t require skill.  Just mix it and let it sit for a week.  That’s an important point to mention…it has to sit for a week, so it’s not a last-minute-throw-it-together thing.

The reason I am naming it a “Jamaican” Fruit Cake is because I couldn’t find regular All Spice at Whole Foods.  They only had “Jamaican” All Spice.  So…there you go….Jamaican Fruit Cake.  And I accidentally added more Cinnamon than the recipe asked for,  so now it is my original recipe that I gladly share with you.  My Hawaiian nickname is Loli, so I’m calling it Loli’s Jamaican Fruit Cake Balls.

If you read my bio, you know that this is not a food that I will eat.  Nor will I taste it.  So I asked my friends to try it.  They are not fruit cake lovers, and I really appreciate their courage and their honesty.

The reviews are better than I expected.  They really like the flavor.  Even after I confessed about the extra Cinnamon.  They said they liked the spicy taste.  The consistency, however, is a problem.  It’s way too sticky.  You can’t eat it with a fork and if you use your fingers, it’s really, really messy.

The fix is how I came up with making it into fruit cake balls.  I just rolled a glob and put it in parchment baking cups.  (The kind you use for cupcakes).  You could probably make them more bite size by using candy cups.

There you go and there you have it.  Not perfect and my ego is fine with it!  If you have any ideas on how to make it less sticky, I’d love to hear them.

Enjoy!

Here’s the recipe.  Let me know if you made it and if you liked it.

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

2 cups raisins

2 cups chopped almonds

2 cups chopped marshmallows

2 cups candied pineapple chunks

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground  Jamaican allspice

2 cups dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup dried currants

1 cup chopped walnuts

4 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 tablespoons chopped candied cherries

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Grease one 9×13 inch pan.

  1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  2. Let cake stand in a cool place and age for at least one week before serving.
  3. Roll into balls and place in parchment cupcake cups.
  4. Keep refrigerated.